This afternoon, Canada Post unveiled its seventh of 10 Canada 150 stamps, this commemorating the creation of the territory of Nunavut in 1999 and celebrating the people who call it home.
Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna and Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak unveiled the stamp at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on 926 Federal Rd. in Iqaluit, about 2,000 kilometres north of Ottawa. Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory—and its largest at more than two million square kilometres.
“It gave us hope for Inuit and people of the territory that there’s a vision and purpose going forward,” said Taptuna about the 1999 creation of Nunavut. “It gave us some security, a sense of security that we’re in charge of our own destiny.”
The new stamp features an image of Leah Ejangiaq Kines, photographed by her spouse Clare Kines, both of whom are residents of Arctic Bay, Nunavut.
BECOMING A TERRITORY
Beginning in the late 1960s, and continuing through the 1970s, a sustained effort took hold among Inuit groups to negotiate land claims with the federal government and secure their own territory. Negotiations intensified in the 1980s and ultimately led to the July 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act between the federal government and Government of the Northwest Territories, which laid the foundation for the creation of the territory of Nunavut on April 1, 1999.
The creation of Nunavut was the first major change to Canada’s map since Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949, and came about from the largest Aboriginal land claims settlement in Canadian history. The territory encompasses about one-fifth of Canada’s land mass and is home to fewer than 40,000 people, most of them Inuit.
Nunavut means “our land” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.
The first stamp of the Canada 150 series was unveiled in Montréal on April 27 by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie in commemoration of Expo 67. The second stamp, this in celebration of the Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was unveiled on May 3 on Parliament Hill. The following day, the series’ third stamp was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jeremy Hansen. The fourth stamp, this honouring the 2005 passing of the Civil Marriage Act, was unveiled May 8 in Toronto. The fifth stamp of the Canada 150 series was unveiled on May 16 in commemoration of the Trans-Canada Highway. Most recently, the sixth stamp was unveiled in honour of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.
The two remaining unveilings are slated to take place May 31 in Winnipeg and June 1 in Vancouver, where the program’s final two stamps will be unveiled.
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut Permanent domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in six colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in booklets of 10 stamps (for a total of four million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (for a total of 80,000 panes). Official first-day covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in Ottawa, are also available in packs of 10 covers (with a total of 10,000 packs).
For this issue as well as the earlier Marriage Equality release, the stamps are also available in booklets of eight stamps.
The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger, of Subplot Design in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.
For more information, visit canadapost.ca/canada150.